Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Renews Rhythm City's License - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Renews Rhythm City's License


The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Rhythm City's operating license for one year. Even though there were major changes to how and who will build a new Davenport casino, the commissioners did not ask any questions during the renewal.

"They usually have a couple of questions," says RDA President Mary Ellen Chamberlin.

As president of the Riverboat Development Authority, Mary Ellen Chamberlin has been asking for the annual operating license renewal for more than 20-years. When Rhythm City started to loose revenue the gaming board began asking questions about selling the casino and moving it onto land.

"I think they would like to see progress," adds Chamberlin, "They've made it very clear that they would like to see progress in Davenport and whether they view this as progress or not, I'm not sure."

For the past couple of months the city has been working on buying Rhythm City and building a city owned casino along I-80. However, the plan was put on hold this week when the RDA decided to look for a private casino developer.  City officials thought the IRGC would want more information about the change of plans.

"There were no questions coming forth from the commission. So, we all made the trip for a very short meeting today," says Davenport Alderman Gene Meeker.

The chair of the gaming board says they didn't comment, because they understand that the city and RDA are still working out major issues, such as who will buy Rhythm City. 

"There are obviously a lot of things going on and we're far from making any decisions. We don't have anything before us and it didn't seem appropriate to ask a lot of questions about that," says Jeff Lamberti, Chair of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

Also at Thursday's IRGC meeting, city manager Craig Malin handed out letters asking the commission to keep an eye on the RDA's search for a private developer. The letter says with Rhythm City's declining revenues, they want to make sure that a land based casino is built.

The next step for a land based Davenport casino is the RDA is going to appoint 4 members to a sub-committee. The sub-committee will work on finding private developer. The RDA has also contacted the Isle of Capri to get permission to speak with potential developers.

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